Avoiding the Bookstore Could Save You Hundreds

Textbooks can cost upwards of $500 per semester.

Three hundred dollars is a lot of money if you are a college student, and it is also the amount I saved by using Amazon for all my textbook needs. Yes, I know this sounds like a horrible Geico ad, but it is something I wish I was aware of my freshman year.

My freshman year of college, I bought brand new books from the bookstore. I feared that if I ordered them elsewhere, I wouldn’t receive them in time. My professors would think I didn’t care about the class and therefore I was doomed to fail.

In my four years of college experience, I have found professors and instructors to have been extremely understanding. They too have had to spend hundreds on textbooks and realize we are struggling to get by. Because of this, they are aware that it might take a little longer for books to come in.

Often, they suggest finding a buddy to share with until your own books arrive. If it makes you more comfortable, you can reach out to your professor and say that your book will be in shortly. They will be more willing to work with you if you are taking care of what is expected for the course.

I also figured that if I purchased used books, I’d be too distracted by highlighting and side notes. “How would I ever be able to study?”, I asked myself. This is also a wrong way of thinking.

If the bright colors prove to be too much, I find making flashcards are a good workaround. Flashcards make for an excellent study tool and then you don’t have to go back to read through the highlighted text.

Here is another myth that I can break for you: you will never crack that book open as a reference to help yourself in another class or life in general. Do not trick yourself into believing it either. Thanks to the wonderful gift of the internet, you will always run to that.

Now, if none of this speaks to you, I want you to visualize the value of $300-$500. How far can this money take you?

When I think about it, I know I could purchase a set of tires for my car. I could get a new wardrobe, or a quality winter coat.

At the very least, $300 can be saved for social activities. With all the new friends you are making, you’re going to want to go out, eat and explore all that Fargo has to offer.

For the freshman out there, I am sure you most likely already purchased your crisp, new textbooks from the bookstore. However, do not fret. The bookstore allows you to return textbooks during the first week of classes. A full refund in fact.

Take this week to search online and see if you can get a better deal through sites such as Amazon or Chegg. Also, make sure you can get them in a timely manner. Even if you can do this for only one of your classes, it will be a great financial relief.

My friends, I am here to tell you its okay, that renting or buying a used textbook is okay.  In fact, it’s great.  You will thank me later.

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